With the conclusion of 2015, instead of doing a Best OF list or a Year in Review, I’d rather discuss the SQUEAL moments of this year (or actually going back to July, 2014). The last 18 months have been a fan boy dream come true for me, on many different levels. Let’s break it down.
Let’s see. I have 5 bands that are, in my eyes, untouchable and can do no wrong. These 5 bands have been my 5 Favorite Bands for over 20 years now, so you know that I don’t deviate, allow new trends to influence me, band wagon jump, or diminish my allegiance. These 5 bands are my all-time favorites for 2 decades, and probably will be until I die. However, it has been a TERRIBLE 15+ years being a fan of these bands. Here’s why:
1. Pink Floyd – has not released an album since 1994’s “The Division Bell” (20 years)
2. Faith No More – has not released an album since 1997’s “Album of the Year” (18 years)
3. Electric Light Orchestra – has not released an album since 2001’s “Zoom” (14 years)
4. God Lives Underwater – has not released an album since 2001’s “Up Off The Floor” (14 years... and oh, the singer died in 2005)
5. Nine Inch Nails – had not released an album since 2008’s “The Slip” until 2013 with “Hesitation Marks” (so they really aren’t part of where I’m going with this, although waiting 5 years for a new NIN album felt like a lifetime)
So as you can see, even though these are my 5 favorite bands where I own, and know every single note of music they have ever recorded, its been a long drought of new music for 4 of them. Now, it was like the floodgates opened all at once:
1. Pink Floyd – released “The Endless River” in November (2014)
2. Faith No More – released “Sol Invictus” in May
3. Electric Light Orchestra – released “Alone In The Universe” in November
Why were these 3 albums so HUGE for me personally? Because all 3 bands had broken up after their previous album, and none of them in a nice amicable way either. I seriously thought that I had lost 4 of my favorite 5 bands forever (we will always be without God Lives Underwater because of David’s death.) The fact that 3 of them (thought lost forever with no possible means of reconciliation) all released new albums in the span of 12 MONTHS, literally almost gave me a heart attack.
Now shows. Even though Pink Floyd did not tour on “The Endless River,” Electric Light Orchestra is currently on tour for “Alone In The Universe,” and Faith No More just concluded their world tour for “Sol Invictus.” It’s only a matter of time at this point before I finally see Electric Light Orchestra for the first time ever, whenever they decide to announce US dates… but Faith No More? I saw them twice on the tour this year. Once in TOKYO! And it was the very first night of the whole tour! Date #1. And then, which goes down in history as one of the Top 3 greatest nights of my life, I took my 6-year old son Everett to see them in NY and they left backstage passes for us at the box-office and we got to hang out with them for an hour backstage after the show. I have so many pictures of the guys in Faith No More playing with my son; from Roddy making Everett jump off a table and Everett hanging onto Roddy’s leg as he walked around the backroom and then taking a selfie of him and my son and using it as his Instagram profile picture, to Puffy picking up Everett and carrying him around in his arms as he chatted with the media and other fans backstage, to Bill having a real discussion with my son about his favorite songs and his impression on the show, to Mike Patton making silly faces at my son and goofing around with him, to Jon being very attentive to him and asking him about living in Japan. If you told me 20 years ago that one day the guys in Faith No More would be playing with my son after a show, I would have told you that you were on drugs. But here we were. And those guys are the most amazing, nicest group of people. And they were so amazing to “deal with” a 6-year old hanging out backstage.
Let’s move off music and onto movies. A new Star Wars movie came out this month. Enough said. PERIOD.
Moving off movies and onto books. My new book, “Yours Truly, 2095,” came out this year to a consistent stream of positive reviews. I hadn’t published a book since “Welcome to Parkview” in 2010 so it had been 5 years, and I was scared that I had been taken out of the game. That doesn’t seem to be the case.
My publishing company, Scout Media, published its first anthology of short stories in October, featuring 21 authors from all over the world.
While we are on the topic of me, I also started writing the second Yellow #1 album this year. The music is all finished, now I just need to write the lyrics and then hit the studio to record the vocals and I’ll have the album out sometime in 2016. The debut Yellow #1 album came out in 1997. Its been 18 years since I wrote any music for that band.
I also climbed Mt. Fuji over the last 18 months… TWICE! And made it to the summit. TWICE!
Aaaaaand… my wife gave birth to our third child last August. Tully Sayward Paone. And that kid is pretty kick-ass.
And there you have it. Why the last 18 months of my life has been fan boy extreme.